Values/2016 discussion/Transcripts/E

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1 == your three values ==
2 === 1 ===
3 Inclusiveness
4 How can the Foundation both reflect and illuminate the world for our users? Inclusiveness as a way of expressing to our users that they are accepted, valued and represented within Wikimedia’s projects. A value of inclusiveness invites and validates users in seeing Wikimedia as a place that they can both contribute and learn from.
5 Inclusiveness for Wikipedia readers: Readers from around the globe and from all backgrounds should be able to see their history represented in Wikipedia. Inclusiveness of topics, articles, languages. Equal representation.
6 Learning
7 Two-fold:
8 Creating tools and resources that empower users to learn and explore.
9 Feels linked in many ways to the commitment to NPOV, Wikipedia as a way to learn rather than be guided.
10 How can the Foundation learn and adapt with its users? How can Wikimedia projects feel like a space that is open to improving, is empathetic and always evolving?
11 Dependability
12 Dependability in service, accessibility and protection of user rights. Dependability as a promise to users that no matter what Wikimedia will be there to provide free and open knowledge regardless of who they are or where they are accessing the projects from.
13 Dependability as a part of a commitment to fostering community. Dependability as a way to show that the foundation is as committed as the community and will ‘always be there.’ Dependability as a way to ensure that users feel safe.
14 === 2 ===
15 I am not entirely sure my understanding of “values”, even after reading the framing documents, is what we’re looking for here, so I apologize if I’m heading in the wrong direction
16 Empathy - understanding why people use and contribute to - and how they experience - our movement/projects, and then mirroring our understanding of that back to them, will allow us to serve and support users and contributors in the ways they need. We cannot forget who we serve in order to ease our own way as a “company”
17 Collaboration - facilitating not only individual users’/contributors’ work on our projects, but empowering them, to the best of our ability, to not do it alone (whether because they want to, or because they feel they have to). This might include technical tools, but also functional community processes and mores; everything we do and make should be accomplished with an eye toward how it will facilitate collaboration (and if something is likely to block collaboration, we should think extremely seriously about whether it’s actually something that serves our movement/users)
18 dictionary|etc]” as that we did it in the millions, and over decades, and while arguing all the while, and we owe it to our future selves to leave a record of that. That extends to the WMF as well as to the community - we should not prioritize “good PR” over “being honest about how we got to where we are”
19 === 3 ===
20 I would see this as specific to the Foundation and will also important for movement - would probably change at least one of my top three for the overall Wikimedia movement vs. Wikimedia Foundation itself.
21 * Access - ability for anyone in the world to be able to access our projects - and going step further to inviting broad audiences to do so - essentially merger of "accessibility" and "diversity" in an applicable way.
22 * Collaboration - community engagement / empowerment approach to our work - doing things collaboratively vs. in org silo - speaking both to internal working approach and external - collaboration between departments and between org and community/affiliates.
23 * Accountability - sort of more Foundation specific take on transparency and what the ultimate outcome/goal tends to be with many people - more than wanting to see everything - the reason is they want to have confidence in our work and a sense of community accountability/oversight for it.
24 === 4 ===
25 Open-mindedness - the ability, capacity and desire to be open to others opinions, issues and opportunities understanding that the World around us is ever changing.  This leads to other improve values associated with the Movement such as inclusion, diversity and serving people of different viewpoints, issues and opportunities.
26 Accountability - we are here for a purpose and we should never lose our motivation to be accountable to those around us - Staff, Community, Board….by improving our ability to demonstrate and actualize beneficial impact - we serve as model to others.  We also have a unique position in the Movement and need to be aware of this heighten accountability for us and others.
27 Service - The greater purpose of our mission is a catalyst for what we do and why we do it.  We are here for the fulfillment of the movement and we should constantly look for opportunities to be more open in regards to being a support and servicer to our vision
28 === 5 ===
29 Increasing accessibility - We want to build a movement that allows and encourages any and everyone to be part of it. This means that people need to be able to physically access the sum of human knowledge and meaningfully participate in it. There are many obstacles to this goal -- lack of infrastructure, affordability, non-inclusiveness, harassment, lack of knowledge of how to participate, lack of awareness, inadequate accessibility for those with learning or physical disabilities.
30 Defending independence - There is a constant push to influence the projects, content, the Foundation, movement organizations, and community members. This push can come from threats of lawsuits, intimidation, undisclosed paid editing, changing regulation, censorship, undue influence from donations, etc. And we must be the defenders of the movement to ensure not only that people can trust in it and participate in it, but to ensure its continued existence.
31 Together, not the same - We need to promote diversity and collaboration because they improve quality -- quality of Wikimedia content, strategy, and perspectives. And we need to amplify voices in a way that allows us to truly hear and process them while being respectful and productive. If the movement has taught us anything, it's that we can do more together than we can as individuals. But that doesn't mean that we should always agree.
32
33 Inclusiveness: I was thinking about supporting editors and readers and that it reflects them. How can it make the world something easier to understand. Value our users and that they feel validated to contribute and read and learn. Inclusiveness of topics, languages, articles and equal representation across identities.
34 Learning - creating tools and resources that empower people to learn and connected to NPOV. How can the foundation be constantly learning from users and their needs.
35 Dependability: in service and accessibility. Users should not feel that their privacy is invaded. Protect their identities and privacy. It’s dependable and you’ll always have access to it.
36
37 Collaboration - how is this going to help our users and work together to build this monument. We need to think about how to make strategies make it easier for community to work together.
38 Historicity: we’re building something huge. The value is also that we show how millions of people built it and how the foundation helps. A record of why for any given thing. I see transparency differently, not how something happened here, but why we did it for future generations.
39
40 Open mindedness - the world is changing whether it is the things we work on or the people we involve, we have to challenge ourselves to be open minded. We all have our experience and biases, if we don’t stay open minded we can lose perspective.
41 Accountability- accountable to staff, community, board, all of the stakeholders. We are the stewards and we can demonstrate the impact and serve as a model to those around us.
42 Service. A catalyst for us. Look for opportunities to support our mission and service it. It supersedes many of the other more tangible viewpoints. We’re here for a greater motivation. That keeps us moving and open.
43
44 I tried to think of the values that are most specific to the foundation.
45 Access - diversity and accessibility but also expanding that to making our work and our projects remain available to everyone. I saw that as a differential, access is on us and content quality is on the communities.
46 Collaboration speaks to our style and the value we take in our approach. Internally we should do things collaboratively across teams and with affiliates. A total approach. It mimics transparency. And wikis are collaborative projects.
47 Accountability - i chose instead of transparency. Accountability is more of the goal rather than transparency. Internal accountability and documentation. So we don’t just document, we need to learn and share those learnings and make it accessible.
48
49 Increasing accessibility - that word has changed for us over time. But for me it’s as broad as we can ever think of. The way we can impact accessibility. We can think of impacting ways that lack infrastructure where there is no internet. Affordability. Inclusiveness - it’s not just about access, it’s meaningful access. Harassment issues that is all a lack of access to me. Accessibility issues with disabilities. We have a long way to go and it will be never ending.
50 Defending independence - lawsuits, intimidation, being killed because of how you participate, to paid editing, and changing regulations and self censorship and it includes fundraising because many small donors keeps our independence. That leads to trust. Trust is built through legal funds, harassment we’re working on. Censorship regulation issues.
51 Together not the same - promoting diversity and collaboration because they improve everything. Best quality articles are those that have the most eyes and the most diverse eyes. Goes beyond content, it goes to product strategy, org strategy. If you don’t have diversity, you can’t have someone thinking for everyone. Amplify voices to allow us to truly hear people. We don’t need to always agree, but we need to at least be able to hear people.
52
53 == why are those good things? do they enable other good things? are they intrinsically good? ==
54 Inclusiveness - coming as part of the design team it has been interesting to see how the current structure can sometimes create strange communication pathways. Designers are across verticals. We get together once a week. It’s odd for me to feel like I’m pulling my weight on including people on design decisions. Trying to get your work done and be able to be responsible to your teammates and how to include others.
55 Why is that good? There is a wide variety of expertise and hear their perspectives. It’s a way to ensure the best work. That’s the why. It produces our best work.
56 They speak to community and internal. The projects remain successful and the tone and is it available, can I understand it. Access is related to inclusiveness. Is management accessible to me? Are there people in the leadership team that I can relate to or look like me? Are we attracting new people and the kinds we want.
57 When I thought about inclusiveness it was in both the toegether not the same and accessibility. While a lot of these things could be applied to community, and why it’s important to the foundation and could impact our work. Inclusiveness means we need certain kind of partnerships. Work on harassment. Invest in ADA compliance. With diversity it directly impacts our strategy. If we have nobody from Africa how will we meet the needs of African community members? We need diverse perspectives to build great products for different users.
58 Dependability - it’s hard to track down previous work. Huge amount of documentation. It would be helpful to dependably know even which wiki something is on. From a staff perspective. So that other people could find it. Why dependability? Both internally and externally, a stable bedrock. Knowing that your foot has a place to land. A tether. Supportive and secure. Being aware of history. Building off of other people’s work. If something didn’t work before when was the last time you tried it and should we try it again?
59 Being supportive and security - i was thinking about support and security as a community member. Knowing that privacy policies aren’t going to change. Wikimedia will not take ad money. That allows them to openly and freely share and that the core values will not shift beneath them. I feel much more supported here than I could have imagined for a job. I feel like I’m seen as a human and an individual. Open communication and 1:1 and a humanist sick day policy.
60
61 Empathy -
62 I sometimes joke that the power of empathy… you can see how what you will say will be interpreted by people, you are already so far ahead of understanding what they need and explaining it in a way that explains what they need.
63 You’ll see people say things and they didn’t think how that would come across. That’s how some people live their lives. If we can position ourselves in a way where we are thinking ahead of time how what we are doing will be interpreted and understood. We’ll know what they need and have it accepted. It’s about dialogue. You cannot operate independently of other people’s understandings and needs.
64 What about saying whatever they feel and whatever is on their mind. How does empathy change that? And how your words have an impact on other people. In a perfect world, everyone would have empathy. It’s never gonna work that way. Different communication styles. Or care so deeply. Part of being empathetic is attempting to understand why those conversations are happening. Checking in on people after the discussion. Difficult discussions in an atmosphere of empathy. Like herd immunity. If everyone is mostly getting there you are supported when it falls through the cracks. If you lose your shit, there are people to intervene. You can step in.
65 Modeling the behavior. We make a choice in our interactions. You can impose rules, but then people like to break rules. Togetherness, there has to be a feeling that there is a feeling of togetherness to offer empathy. Other values that are connected. If we believe in them, we model them.
66 Modeling is what I meant when I was talking about atmosphere. Bad behavior or abnormal behavior speaks out.
67 Consistency in this is important. Consistency in enforcing these norms.
68 People knocking down edits, that can feel like there is no empathy or initiate them so. Comms on talk pages can be terse and people don’t always understand that. How can we facilitate an easier entry to the communities.
69 Empathy and free speech, it can facilitate free speech to be more productive. They are less likely to yell if you actually hear them. First amendment applies to governments not everything. Free speech doesn’t mean without consequences. Don’t be surprised if you are rude that there will be consequences.
70 Empathy in hand with professionalism. I would treat a lack of empathy as a way of not being able to work well with others just as someone who is hired to code can code. Lack of empathy will fundamentally impact their ability to be successful.
71 Inclusiveness and freedom in this. We want to be inclusive. Freedom I explain in the concept of harassment. You are curtailing the freedom of the people who are afraid of you by being this frightening, intimidating personality. People can be frightened by that. Intimidating. Dealing with someone like that is a loss of freedom for others. I won’t join. In expressing their freedom that way, they’re oppressing mine.
72 Accountability and independence apply here.
73 We work for the communities. But sometimes we are also independent. We can observe that certain behaviors are destructive.
74 Most of us have gone off the rails at least once. Someone has approached and told us that we are accountable and that wasn’t cool. Circles back to the point about modeling. When that happens it has had a huge impact on changing my behavior rather than a written policy.
75
76 Accountability - i’ve worked in a lot of nonprofit. They are great for external constituencies. But crappy internally. That internal dependability was absent for most of those orgs. We held ourselves accountability on the outside, but we never executed it well internally. Easy to talk the talk, but implementing. What does accountability mean as individual? To each other and to the work. Decent co-worker with empathy but don’t get or do great work.
77 What do we do to make this come to fruition.
78 We fix mistakes rather than breaking people. I don’t want it to be finger pointing.
79 Embracing the problem: it’s more than fixing. Accountability goes beyond the individual. Sometimes we achieve accountability with others, to embrace their problems together and offer solutions that advance the game. We can get lost between accountability and responsibility. Sometimes people start turf wars. Listen, then be accountable for the outcome. Explaining to the other party why you’ve done what you’ve done.
80 Accountability can be a systemic issue. Accountable to problems, rather than people.
81 If we’re doing accountability well we shoudl be assuming that we will share the learnings and mistakes. Proactively. When the problem arises, we have already documented.
82 How we don’t have a great memory for things we do wrong. Even if we successfully learn and document, we do the same thing two years later. How do we not repeat history.
83 What about other values that would support this value: it goes back to transparency. We have mistaken transparency for everything. A 60 page document is not helpful. Three bullet points would likely be more transparent. We go through cycles of being better at communicating across departments and having these relationships takes time. We’ve not been great at setting up continuity. In leadership in development. The hit by the bus problem.
84 It might mean that we have to change our priorities. Continuity documentation.
85 Trouble-shooting. If you don’t build accountability then you won’t identify a weak link. Without accountability, you don’t have trust.
86 Does it boil down to competence for this group?
87 Modeling… if someone screws up they don’t need to be publicly shamed or fired. Make it a safe to fail environment. Do you know why it happened? Do you know not to do it again. Some of the things on L where we could have been perceived that we have done something wrong, I’ve seen staff chime in a negative way. I think we’re moving in the right direction. Encouraging and fostering positive contributions from staff.
88
89 I’ve been at other nonprofits where people sort of retire on the job. But I’ve not seen that here. A meeting will go off track and people call back the higher purpose and why we’re here. Accountability came up here again. As if there are in person patrons here. As though physically our users are here.
90 Service to others and to the mission.
91
92 Defending independence - how does that apply to individuals? On a team level you should think about potential risks that could threaten our independence. They need to think about it and come up with ideas to mitigate those risks. It’s going to depend on what your role is depending on what you do here.
93 This means defending the independence of the foundation. I see that defending our independence as an individual. You need to have the ability to let go of what you think is best for the movement. Say your piece. And then support the decision. That goes back to the professionalism issues. Goes against Togetherness. Put the movement above your individual needs. It’s ok to debate.
94 The united front can be a bit disingenuous. I find it a bit unpleasant where people are expected for things to be perfect when they know it’s not. I know that is an overstatement. Prefer explanations as opposed to a united front. More open about how we got somewhere. We should not be weirdly smiley. It’s fine to explain and qualify with caveats.
95 Are you helping the conversation move forward. Willing to explain how you got there can be the most important thing. We don’t need to oversell. We need to explain difficult decisions and what went into it.
96 Defending independence - we have paid legal defense with affiliates. We’ve talked about not just defensive, but perhaps more proactive. How do they run themselves independently? Yes, they already do. The diversity of approaches. Movement has more than one voice. Different groups tackle different problems. They could be much more successful. The more eyes.
97 The independence of affiliates is that you get innovation. Without it, we wouldn’t have Wikidata.